Digital timer relay control of a linear actuator scheme

Adding Linear Actuators To Chicken Coops And Snowblower Chutes

Gregory Kimbell
Gregory Kimbell
PA Engineer

As automation trends become increasingly popular, customers are always looking for ways to implement linear actuators into their applications. For instance, in farming locations, chickens stay cooped up inside until you let them out. This requires you to bundle up and head outside to open the door in the colder months. With the use of a linear actuator and a digital timer, you can have this process automated for you!

Choose a highly protected actuator for outdoor settings!

Additionally, linear actuators can also be used to help re-direct the chute on a snow-blower with a push of a button. In this article, we will be going over how to automate a chicken coop door as well as directing the chute on a snow-blower.

For automating a chicken coop door, it is important to choose the correct stroke length to allow the door to fully open and fully close properly. As this is typically an outdoor application, this will require a linear actuator that can withstand weather elements and moist environments. An IP-66 rated actuator or an actuator covered with a rubber boot is highly recommended for this type of application.

Along with the actuator, you would need the appropriate mounting brackets, a DPDT relay and an AC-21 Digital Programmable Timer Switch, all connected to a 12VDC power source.  After finding the stroke size you would require, mounting the actuator is easy to do with our mounting brackets. You can find more tips on mounting actuators by checking out our article on mounting methods:

This wiring diagram below will allow for the actuator to open the door once the timer has been applied and close the door after the programmed duration. This function can be programmed for an entire week, allowing the user to choose what day and time the actuator will extend and retract.

Rocker Switch Control of a Linear Actuator


For snow-blower applications, a great way to implement a linear actuator into it is for angling the chute to direct the snow at various distances. It is important to choose the appropriate actuator that is able to withstand the cold weather elements. Whether it be one of our IP66 rated actuator models or adding a rubber boot to help protect against moisture (such as our PA-14 actuator paired with our AC-05 rubber boot cover), choosing the right actuator will help increase its life. Additionally, finding the right stroke size is crucial to give the chute a full range of motion. Along with the actuator, you will need the corresponding mounting brackets and a momentary rocker switch, all connected to a 12VDC power source for the automation system.

This rocker switch wiring diagram will allow you to extend and retract the actuator. With a linear actuator added to your snow-blower, you can now toss the snow further with just the press of a button.

Rocker Switch Control of a Linear Actuator


Pair our PA-14 Mini Actuator with an AC-05 rubber boot to boost it's protection rating!

These are just two examples of how our linear actuators can be used in various applications. Automation can increase not only productivity but the efficiency in an application or routine to make your life easier. For more information on our products and how they can be used, contact us at 1-800-676-6123 or by sending us an email at